Developer pulls out of Westville, N.J.

Fieldstone Associates has withdrawn as the developer of a luxury condo and retail development in Westville, N.J., which was planned for land it didn’t own – pretty par for the course in New Jersey.Westville1.jpg

Over two dozen waterfront properties would have been condemned had this project gone forward. And one business in particular can be thanked for that: Grabbes Seafood, an award-winning, third-generation landmark restaurant. Owner Dolores Achilles and her son, Al, have fought for years to stop this landgrab. After attending our regional and national conferences, the Achilleses cooked up a very creative way to draw attention to this abuse of power: the Eminent Domain Abuse Menu, featuring Crab “Seizure” Salad with “Our House Dressing” (their home abuts the restaurant) and the Grab Cake Sandwich with Lost Freedom Fries.

As the city revisits its redevelopment goals, maybe they can tap into the Achilleses’ creativity and love for Westville instead of aligning against them with out-of-town developers.